Take off shades to peer behind numbers

Squint at the smaller figures as they can often be more revealing

DreamWorks Animation: cliffhanger

Instead of making three expensive movie annually, it will make two

Super Bowl ads: game on

Television advertising is not dead

IAG and Qatar Airways: related parties

Qatar Airways has acquired 10 per cent of IAG

UK banks: painful, persistent, interminable

There should be a time limit on PPI claims

Amazon: ready for prime time

Shareholders wanted profit. Jeff Bezos got the message

McDonald’s: big game hunter

Buffett won’t snap up McDonald’s. Someone should

Nokia: nice and easy?

Although company has found life after handsets, it has yet to convince investors

Deutsche Bank: universal truths

The performance of the stock, and the company, has been poor

Royal Dutch Shell: parenthood

The reluctance to cut spending on big projects too sharply is natural. But it has its downsides

  • Apple: What now?

    Apple recorded $18bn in net profit on $75bn of sales in the three months to 31 December 2014. Where does the company go after posting the most profitable quarter in corporate history? Join Lex live at midday (UK time) today to discuss

  • Miners: Where to be in a world of low commodity prices?

    Where do miners sit after the commodity crash? BHP is a miner with a very serious hobby in oil and gas, but it makes its living from iron ore and copper. That hobby has started to look too much of a luxury since the oil price collapsed last year. On Wednesday it announced cuts to its US shale oil effort, only a few years after entering the space. It wants to reduce exposure to the the areas it cannot control. But what of iron ore, BHP's key product accounting for easily half of operating profits? The company doesn't want to harm its most profitable product. But there are signs that the iron ore market could suffer more this year. Bad news for BHP and its rivals.

    Join Lex live at midday UK time to discuss.

  • KAZ minerals: a low-cost producer?

    No one rings a bell on the day that a given market hits the bottom. That is the reason for owning assets that everyone hates: because you want to be hanging around on the day that everyone stops hating them quite so much, and it is impossible to predict when that day is going to be.

    This sums up the argument Lex made last week about copper miners. Everything, from the strengthening dollar to the weakening global economy to short sellers, is lined up against them. So maybe a contrarian bet is in order; if so, pick a low-cost producer so you don’t have to worry about solvency at the same time as you worry about the stock price. In that note, we characterized KAZ Minerals of Kazakhstan as a high cost producer. The company begs to differ, and they sent us the following counter-argument:

  • UK residential property: get out or double down?

    UK house prices rose 7 per cent last year, according to Nationwide. Shares in housebuilders Persimmon and Barratt are up by over 10 per cent. Nice profits all round, then. Time to get out while the going is good, or double down in the hope that not even higher interest rates will damage the long term growth story? Join us at midday UK time for a live discussion.

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